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The Long Journey: Sending Love to Grace Lee Boggs

30 Sep

99 year-old legendary American activist Grace Lee Boggs has been in hospice care in her Detroit home for the past two weeks. Recent posts on her social media outlets have intimated that Boggs may be “coming to the end of a long journey,” as she has put it. She is not conducting interviews, taking phone calls or receiving visitors. After a lifetime of inspirational and powerful community activism, having been at the forefront every major social justice movement in recent American history, including civil rights, feminism and environmental justice, she has earned a well-deserved rest.

However, her work does not stop – the posts also note that her contributions will be celebrated and advanced at an October conference called, “Reimagining Work and Culture” to be held Oct 18-20 in Detroit.

We at Sisters of Resistance would like and express our deep love and gratitude to Grace for her incredible life work, and send love to her and to her family, with our wishes for peace and strength at this time.

Read the whole article at Detroit Free Press.

Video

Malala’s United Nations Speech

4 Aug

Full video of the heroic Malala Yousafzai’s moving speech at the UN – 12 July 2013

Women We Admire – Arundhati Roy

4 Feb

Arundhati Roy

“I only write when I can’t not.” – Arundhati Roy

WHO SHE IS: Indian writer and political activist, best known for her 1997 Booker Prize-winning book, The God of Small Things.

WHAT SHE HAS ACCOMPLISHED: An outspoken critic of globalization, she promotes social justice, sustainability, feminist principles and the preservation of traditional ways of life. In the past decade, she has been increasingly critical of the Indian state’s policy towards Kashmir, nuclear weapons program, and the environmental destruction and corruption caused by domestic mega-corporations, government organizations and officials.

She works tirelessly to bring to light the issues facing poor and marginalized communities across India and wrought by globalization, such as the dams and mineral quarries that displace peasants and destroy the environment under the guise of progress and development.

She has lived with revolutionary armies fighting in the Indian jungle and written about her time there, calling attention to the circumstances they face. When asked why she supports their armed resistance and does not argue for a non-violent solution, she succinctly illustrates the lack of alternatives:

“If you’re an adivasi [tribal Indian] living in a forest village and 800 CRP [Central Reserve Police] come and surround your village and start burning it, what are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to go on hunger strike? Can the hungry go on a hunger strike? Non-violence is a piece of theatre. You need an audience. What can you do when you have no audience? People have the right to resist annihilation.”

WHY WE LOVE HER: She is the embodiment of speaking truth to power. She articulately and passionately speaks out against the structural conditions and entities that maintain systemic injustice in her homeland and beyond. She critiques the realities of so-called “democracies” that have been co-opted in support of neoliberal market ideology and globalization. Despite threats to her own safety, she exhibits a matter-of-fact courage in the face of attacks by those who wish to maintain the status quo. Aware that “anybody who says anything is in danger,” she presses on with her radical agenda. She does not ask to be celebrated and she will not back down.

She refused a deal to turn The God of Small Things, her incredibly moving and original novel, into a film because she wanted each reader to be able to maintain their own vision of the story. Although she earned a substantial amount of money from its worldwide publication (it was translated into 40 languages) and sale, she has given most of her money away to political causes. She says she “is not in sacrificial mode” and does not claim to be a saint, but that as a political person, she would rather not keep it, but instead “deploy” it appropriately.

Her person, her work and her fearlessness “ignites our political imagination.” An incredible writer and public speaker, she tours not only large metropolitan areas but across India, reaching out to those in country towns and small cities, speaking on a wide range of issues related to the misdeeds of the Indian state and the policies of marketized globalization. Although she continues to write essays and political articles and has recently published an essay collection entitled “Broken Republic,” she says doesn’t care if she ever finishes a second novel, as she never intended to be a novel factory. In fact, she says in some ways she wishes she could “do as little as possible,” but that she only writes “when she can’t not.” Considering the multitude of grave injustices she challenges with her writing, we are genuinely grateful that she answers the call.

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We do not own the photos above, nor do we intend any copyright infringement. Quotations taken from interviews with Ms. Roy by The Guardian. Links are below. We highly recommend these articles for further reading.

Arundhati Roy: ‘They are trying to keep me destabilised. Anybody who says anything is in danger’ [Stephen Moss, The Guardian]

Arundhati Roy: India’s bold and brilliant daughter [Ian Jack, The Guardian]

Arundhati Roy: ‘The people who created the crisis will not be the ones that come up with a solution’ [Arun Gupta, The Guardian]

London 2012 Olympics: Unwrapped

27 Aug

In the wake of the 2012 London Olympics, we are cross-posting Ashok Kumar‘s radical analysis of the elite-serving “tradition”/distraction of the masses that is the Olympic Games. You can read the complete article at Ceasefire Magazine.

We close with links to a number of articles from various sources who don’t all agree with our stance on the Olympics, but provide critical insight into the ways women athletes of color are scrutinized rather than celebrated for their accomplishments, a particularly ignominious trend in light of such overwhelming successes this year.

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Hosting the Olympics is often presented to us as an ideologically neutral opportunity to boost tourism and sports. In a thought-provoking piece Ceasefire Magazine’s Ashok Kumar outlines a clear and consistent, yet barely noticed, pattern of the Games being used to fundamentally restructure the host City to the purposeful exclusion of its working class and ethnic minority residents.

As London prepares to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, startlingly little critique has surfaced in the mainstream press. With the exception of the trivial issue of ticket prices, most of the city remains transfixed, internalising the dominant narrative. This process precedes each Olympic games, one that is written and distributed by and for the real Olympic profiteers; a nexus of powerful interests that sees both short and long term gains in each host city.

This highly profitable, publicly subsidised, sporting event always attracts the major, and wannabe major, cities of the world, using any and all methods to entice an unaccountable Olympic committee, each flexing their political muscle to ensure theirs is the next chosen location. The Olympics take billions of pounds, yen, dollars of their host countries’ tax revenue to build magnificent stadiums and housing facilities, militarise the city, trample civil liberties and construct elaborate installations with shelf lives of a few weeks.

Read the rest of Ashok Kumar’s article at Ceasefire Magazine.

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Haters Need to Shut the Hell Up About Gabby Douglas’ Hair [Jezebel]

The Gabby Douglas Hair Controversy…Unwrapped [Sporty Afros]

Caster Semenya and athletic excellence: a critique of Olympic sex-testing [Somatosphere]

UK weightlifter Zoe Smith responds to criticism of women’s weightlifting as “unfeminine” [Zoe Smith's Blog]

Racist/sexist/ageist disbelief  of Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen’s world record [The Guardian]

Racism and prejudice against Serena Williams’ celebratory dance [The Guardian]

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And to anyone seeking to belittle the great feats of athleticism these women have achieved, we got one thing for you:

Sisters Talking Back (Challenging Dominant Narratives)

23 Jun

Sisters of Resistance have recently read some powerful sisters talking back, challenging racist, sexist stereotypes of the dominant white male power structure. 

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Lauryn Hill has spoken back against the poisonous nature of the music industry in a powerful statement available here.

Erykah Badu has directly addressed those who seek to badmouth her because of her third child here. 

Lastly, this in depth article analyses “respectability politics” and how they can be oppressive for black women in particular, making reference to the racist film The Help and Erykah Badu.